By Keyla Sanchez

For all of us living in areas with cold, dry winters, know that this season and the skin are not particularly best friends. My skin has always been on the drier side and I have to moisturizer every single day. However, since I moved to Nebraska, and experience winter for the first time, I realized something. Skin does not like winter.

Winter air does not have a lot of humidity (if any) and our skin and body suffer the consequences. We start seeing our skin get flaky, our fine lines and wrinkles look more pronounced and our skin tend to look more dull overall. In this post, I am going to make a few recommendations that will help you get through winter with a healthy, glowing skin.

First and most important, moisturize! As the air gets dry, so does our skin. Moisturizer work by preventing moisture leave our skin cells and providing lubrication for our tissues. This helps reduce the flakiness and lines in our skin. Our skin will look more plumped. It is important however that you use the right moisturizer.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends creams and ointments because they tend to be more effective and less irritating than lotions. Look for a cream or ointment that contains an oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil. Other ingredients that help to soothe dry skin include lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum. I personally love to use a cream with macadamia oil because it feels light and smooth on my skin. On your lips you can safely use Vaseline or aquafor, although my favorite lip balm is just plain Chapstick.

It is also important to frequently exfoliate your skin. Exfoliation is the process of removing the old or dead cells that sit on top of your outer layer of your skin. Exfoliation is important because these dead cells are a physical barrier and therefore the moisturizer would not be absorbed in an optimum way. Also, these cells are responsible for making our skin look flaky and dull. I recommend exfoliating with a soft brush or fine sugar or salt grains once of twice a week.

When showering, avoid using hot water. I know we love to feel that heat after a long day at work. But trust me, this hot temperature is not good for your skin. Hot water actually removes your natural oil or sebum from your skin and by doing this, our skin becomes drier. Use warm water instead and at the end, just cold water to stimulate your circulation a little bit. Right after showering, it is important that you apply that moisturizer, that way it traps moisturize on your skin.

Drink a lot of water and remember to wear sunscreen everyday. Even in the winter, the sun can still cause some serious consequences, including skin cancer. Make sure to wear gloves when working with chemicals or working with water (especially if you are like me, that I hate using the dishwasher because I feel I have to redo it again, so I prefer to hand wash my dishes). If my hands and feet are feeling really dry and flaky, I love to rub them with a thin layer of Vaseline and then put on an old pair of socks right before bedtime. Next morning, they will feel so much softer and moisturized.

Don’t be afraid of extreme weather. When you have the knowledge on how to treat your skin and prevent skin dryness, you can beat the winter intentions of making your skin look old and dull!